The Department of Defense conducted the third military-wide survey to assess customer satisfaction with Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs in summer 2014. Nearly 22,300 active-duty service members participated and rated customer service, operation hours, facility conditions and quality of service.
The department's goal is always to ensure that our programs meet service member needs, and the survey results help define what is working well and what we can still improve. The overall Department of Defense customer satisfaction index score was 67 in 2014, compared to 69 in both 2009 and 2011. Changes in individual service customer satisfaction index scores were significant:
- Satisfaction with Army decreased one point
- Satisfaction with Navy and Air Force decreased two points
- Satisfaction with Marine Corps decreased four points
The Army and Navy had the highest overall satisfaction index score at 69.
The customer satisfaction index score is based on a 0 to 100 scale from lowest to highest, and represents the average rating of three customer satisfaction questions. Scores are generally characterized in the following ways:
- Scores in the 60s: fine, but could use work
- Scores in the 70s: good job, but keep working on it
- Scores in the 80s: excellent, keep it up
out how Morale, Welfare and Recreation covers fun from A to Z - from art and aquatics to boating and bowling, camping and crafting to making it easier to zip off to zoos and other places.
Survey participants rated nine individual MWR programs for customer satisfaction. Those programs, scored from highest to lowest, were:
- Library: 75 points, unchanged since 2011
- Automotive skills: 74 points, unchanged since 2011
- Sports and athletics: 74 points, first year measured in survey
- Recreation centers: 73 points, unchanged since 2011
- Single service member programs: 72 points, down two points since 2011
- Leisure travel: 72 points, up one point from 2011
- Outdoor recreation: 72 points, up one point from 2011
- Swimming pools: 70 points, down one point from 2011
- Fitness centers: 69 points, unchanged since 2011
The survey also measured the impact of MWR satisfaction on readiness, retention and unit cohesion. As in 2009 and 2011, survey findings suggested that MWR has the greatest impact on readiness — if MWR satisfaction increases, readiness increases. The readiness score increased by one point in 2014. The survey also showed that unit participation in MWR programs has a positive effect on program satisfaction, MWR satisfaction, and on readiness, retention and unit cohesion.
The department's top priority areas for improvement are:
- Community and recreation centers
- Outdoor recreation
- Single service member programs
- Fitness centers
Improvements in these areas will have the highest impact on overall satisfaction with MWR and on readiness.
The 2014 survey was the second survey to include National Guard and reserve members. Their overall customer satisfaction index was 66, four points lower than 2011. Top priorities for the National Guard and reserve are outdoor recreation and fitness centers.
Survey feedback helps MWR program managers and other decision-makers determine service members' satisfaction with programs, identify areas that need improvement and decide how and where to allocate funding. Repeating the survey — in 2009, 2011, 2014 and again in the future — helps to show whether improvements are proving effective. The survey is an important tool for developing MWR strategic plans and justifying future funding requests.
Look for the next Department of Defense MWR customer satisfaction survey in 2016. The department hopes it will reflect the many positive changes service members and their families can look forward to as they enjoy the wide variety of activities and services that MWR programs offer.